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Old 12-04-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
christinavelia
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Hello...Torn Meniscus help needed.

Hello everyone,

First of all, thanks for taking time to read my post.

Now...I am 25 and have recently torn my meniscus in my left knee ( a grade two tear). I moved back to El Paso from New York, where I was taking classes at the Iyengar Institute. Here in town, there are no formal practitioners, so I continued what I learned on my own.

Here's what happened...

I tried to get a little ahead of myself and forced myself into a deep buttocks on the floor (no block or prop) virasana and on top of that did a real stupid thing of rotating my knees so that while I was in virasana my shins were spread to the sides...like a letter T with the top of the T being by shins and the bottom being my thighs. I now know this isn't a real pose...no one ever showed it to me...I tried it because I thought I could get a could internal hip stretch. I now have learned that all I did was put EXCESSIVE stress on the knees...and KuRpLoW! I tore my meniscus...

So...now I am doing my PT strengthening exercises, and continue to do yoga...but I am scared my impatience will worsen the injury. I wanted to ask if you know what poses I SHOULD AVOID...and which ones may be infact beneficial.

Would you say warrior I is a bad idea? I recently started doing it and I love how it feels on the hip flexors, but I do feel a tug on the knee.

I am guilty of pushing too too hard and don't know if I should stop.

Thank you for your kind Help!
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hello Christina,

I'm sorry to hear of the experience in your knee. Though ultimately it may be one of your greatest teachers it is rarely "easy" to adopt that perspective when you are right in it. I do hope others will read your post and also take something from it. Was your grade II determined from an MRI?

Healing is most effective when the body is in a parasympathetic state. We've got a couple of threads on the board about it. So perhaps read them. It is one of the reasons rest is so beneficial for recovery.

Along with resting and gearing your life down a bit (for now) would be a nurturing environment. That means a mental and physical environment. Take good care of yourself - warm baths, massage oil on the knee, rest, eat very, very well (deep green leafy veggies, hydration, etcetera) and keep your mind directed to a dialogue of positive thoughts re: your recovery. Connect and conduct your mind and breath into your knee joint.

There are certainly asanas to avoid. This is especially so if you do not have a solid, alignment-based practice to begin with. I can't see your practice so I don't know. Please consider avoiding any poses where you are bearing weight on the leg in question AND you cannot maintain the integrity of alignment or do not have any idea what that means.

So if you cannot in your mind recite the safety issue in Vira III, for example, then do not do it. If you do not know where the knee should be living or cannot keep it there in Vira I, do not do the pose.

I would direct you away from Vira I, II, II, Utkatasana, Garudasana, Gomukhasna, Vrksasana, Natarajasana, Vanarasana, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Paschimotanasana, Janu Sirsasana, and Trikonasana UNLESS you've got someone showing you who really knows their stuff.

Some of these could be beneficial when modified with props but it is not appropriate for me to cover that here. Your teacher should do that for you. In fact, you should have a custom crafted asana practice during this period set forth by a skilled, alignment-based teacher with therapeutic training. There are specific things to do which will align your upper and lower leg bones then strengthen the muscles that support the knee joint.
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Last edited by InnerAthlete; 12-04-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
christinavelia
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Dear inner athlete

Hello! thanks so much for you incredibly helpful advice.

I am lucky that I came across your knowledge on this site.

Well, I see that you are based in Seattle, and am currently residing in my birthtown El Paso Tx, which does not have a good following of the arts, including incredible things such as Yoga and Alexander technique. People that teach or perform tend to move to bigger more acculturated cities...so that leaves EP with no (as far as I've found) accredited yoga teachers.

I've searched and haven't found any one. Just classes taught by a good hearted person that doesn't really focus on the anatomical alignment aspects of yoga.

So, I am going to take your sound advice and (as hard as it is for me) lay off of the poses. I am actually quite obsessed with alignment, and thought I learned enough in NY to at least practice a few poses like warrior II and III...but I do agree that I am a beginner (only practiced for 6 months) and may be practicing wrong.

I guess for now I am going to (as far as yoga goes) stick with simple moves...like the supine twists, downward dog, HALASANA...ect. Unless you think this is unwise as well.

I wish teachers like you were forced to be at least one in each city. Ahh..that would be nice.

Well, if you know of anyone hear, I would love to learn about them. Any who, thanks a bunch!

Last edited by christinavelia; 12-04-2008 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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If you are in PT with a physical therapist, it might be worth it to you to bring a book in (for the pictures) and ask when it would be physically helpful to try them again. While a physical therapist is not a yoga teacher, their understanding of alignment and risk management is based in gross anatomy. They'd notice if you were putting yourself at risk physically.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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Small world. I just tore the meniscus in my left knee as well. InnerAthlete had some excellent advice for me.

Good luck and speedy healing to you. Welcome to the site.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:56 AM   #6
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Torn Meniscus

Dear All

I have a torn meniscus in my left knee. Tore it while playing badminton, but probably the clicking problem in the knee started much earlier - say a couple of months prior to that dreaded badminton game. The ACL is fine, but the MRI report says Meniscus tear. Have visited atleast 10 top doctors in Delhi and all suggested arthroscopy. I however, decided to hunt for alternatives and not go for the surgery. Initially, i tried hot fomentation, etc along with a knee brace. The movement around the knee was still there, though i could still get by. Later, on someone's suggestion, i applied Mahanarayan Oil (it's an ayurvedic oil). Immediately the swelling subsided and i could walk around without the knee brace. I lead an active lifestyle and quick sharp movements still becomes a problem. I am willing to go any length to cure the tear but would not want a surgery. Can anybody help with any suggestions or exeperiences.

Rgds

Basant
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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You say you're "willing to go to any length" but are you willing to change your life?
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
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Hi Inner Athlete

yes I'm willing to go any lengths to fix this - if that means changing my life, i can. do tell me if you have anything in mind for me.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:55 AM   #9
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Basant, do you know how badly your meniscus is torn? If it is torn at the edge then there is a blood flow to that area and healing is possible. If it is torn further in then healing is unlikely and you will need to adjust your life and movements to compensate so that you don't have your knee "lock" with the meniscus flap cementing the joint. Surgery is pretty much the only way out of that situation.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #10
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The active lifestyle will have to be shelved for a bit as it will make matters worse. The knee needs rest and healing. That is facilitated when the body systems are calm. I would typically use Mahavishgarbha for this sort of thing but if Mahanarayan is effective then continue.

I believe my earlier post in this thread outline much of the protocols for knee issues.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Hello everyone,

First of all, thanks for taking time to read my post.

Now...I am 25 and have recently torn my meniscus in my left knee ( a grade two tear). I moved back to El Paso from New York, where I was taking classes at the Iyengar Institute. Here in town, there are no formal practitioners, so I continued what I learned on my own.

Here's what happened...

I tried to get a little ahead of myself and forced myself into a deep buttocks on the floor (no block or prop) virasana and on top of that did a real stupid thing of rotating my knees so that while I was in virasana my shins were spread to the sides...like a letter T with the top of the T being by shins and the bottom being my thighs. I now know this isn't a real pose...no one ever showed it to me...I tried it because I thought I could get a could internal hip stretch. I now have learned that all I did was put EXCESSIVE stress on the knees...and KuRpLoW! I tore my meniscus...

So...now I am doing my PT strengthening exercises, and continue to do yoga...but I am scared my impatience will worsen the injury. I wanted to ask if you know what poses I SHOULD AVOID...and which ones may be infact beneficial.

Would you say warrior I is a bad idea? I recently started doing it and I love how it feels on the hip flexors, but I do feel a tug on the knee.

I am guilty of pushing too too hard and don't know if I should stop.

Thank you for your kind Help!
I'll be brief.

Sounds v. similar to my own experience. Though i did'nt tear anything, it felt like i had put the joint out of it's normal allignment.It just did not feel right; rather disconcerting, more like. My asana practice at one point just consisted of this pose. I was trying to stretch the posas muscle, on one side.

You can read my own solution within this thread here-

http://www.yogaforums.com/forums/f18/pain-in-knees-recent-3937.html


the hanna somatics approach to healing knee pain.


Rest and recuperation is wise so healing has a fair chance. i.e take it eeaassy . ( no iron mans, or marathons this season. :*))
Plus stop doing whatever you're doing*

I'm not up on torn meniscus'( for that you could consult a specialist) but ,This particular somatic excercise should help re-align the knee joint and better integrate the knees. It is safe as long as you follow the guidelines.( also there maybe a learning curve of up to 6 weeks for HS therapy)

it helped me

here are useful additional websites for resources, such as audio tapes, and more info on hanna somatics, if you wish to look into it more.-

somatics.com
somaticsed.com/
somatics.org

I reaaly think lesson 5 out of the hanna cat stretch might be able to help alot of folk who have run into knee problems through doing inapporopriate yoga, in the same way i believe it probably helped me. I think I felt my knees click or re-align back into place, so to speak ,after doing this particular movement.


Do it in a leeisurely way like a cat does when it stretches ( though there is no actual stretch involved.)...............................Use the least possible effort.Go slowly. Focus your awareness on the sensation;have it in the area concerned. Feel tight muscles contraaaact and then relaaaax.............

Last edited by core789; 02-21-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:19 AM   #12
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Which is the PARTICULAR somatic exercise you're referencing. I've looked through the myriad of posts and videos.

Could you direct me to the one you are mentioning in this sentence:

Quote:
...I'm not up on torn meniscus'( for that you could consult a specialist) but ,This particular somatic excercise should help re-align the knee joint and better integrate the knees
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:00 AM   #13
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Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by InnerAthlete View Post
Which is the PARTICULAR somatic exercise you're referencing.
A-

Lesson 5 - from Thomas Hanna's 'Outgrowing the Myth of Aging Series- the Cat Stretch'

================================================== ===============

What is Lesson 5, (from the 'Cat Stretch' series)?

How does one do this particular movement/somatic excercise?

Well i posted a link in previous post ( on this very thread)to another thread on knees and what i post there endeavours to answer these questions above.

You'll find a u-tube video which is alright & gives you a ROUGH idea, though i blieve it may not be enough to go on as i believe you -
A) need to understand the theory so you know why, i.e the reason, why you are doing what you are doing.( homas hanna says this very thing in his book Somatics: Re-awakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility and Healths, which you'll want to get a hold of.no abtruse theroies to master- one just needs to understand that the muscular sytem can be changed through the nervous system/brain)
B)Be familiar with the principiples of practice, and therefore importantly develop a 'feel' for doing somatic excercises effectively to release muscular tension.Knowing how to do SE's, and having experienced that for oneself already.

This particular u-tube video helped me with lesson 5 as it is performed there sliding the foot in a lazy fashion. (rather than raising it, which in my case, did'nt result in a drop in muscle tonus, perhaps spasm, as my legs were too tight.( You can then raise the foot/leg after sliding it, once the legs ease off)
But i had lready consulted this book above,the manual if you like, and audio instruction too.The book provides one with a picture, if you can decipher the positions of wooden doll used to illustrate.And the complementary audioiinstruction gives you guidance on what you should be sensing and feeling as you do the movements.They invite you to first imagine and then do the movments as there is a lot to take in at first.

But you should notice changes straight away, immediately, after doing session, especially in your "core" region, (betwen ribcage & pelvis) ,even after doing one lesson( that is what Hanna called them, cos you need to learn how to do them,effectively. it is basically a form of biofeedback muscle-brain-muscle-brain training but without any equipment needed.. just a rug or firm surface with enough room to lie on, usually on your back. you basically work without the usual effects of gravity pulling you down, usually causing one to tilt this way or that way, front back or to the sides, perhpas all three ways at once.)

It can be used for functional body enhancement, like for athletes also , through bringing about better alignement and coordination via the release of reflexively, that is involuntarily, tight muscles.

If anyone here is prepared todo anything then i suggest you give HS a go.
Or if you want quicker Results than learning on your own, go through a trained practitioner ( the licensed ones all do 3 years of training so they must have learnt something or acheived a certain skill level, let's say)

Here is the website to look for a trained practitioner living near you-

http://www.hannasomatics.com/practitioners/index.php


I've only been learning Hanna Somatics for 9 months, and still trying to undo obvious tensions in my body.I'm doing HS/somatic excercises instead of asana(this was my route , how i got into the mind-body field) as i've found yogasana, when i do it, would appear to be conditioning my muscles into higher state of tension than they already are( it maybe because i'm not breathing, period, or properly during asana but that is obviously another subject entirely, in and of itself)

Click on the link to other knee thread in previous post where you'll find -

-additional guiance on this particular excercise and how to do it
and
other stuff you'll profit from by knowing ( Knowledge is, indeed, power.)

here is that link again to other thread just to make things as easy as possible and clear

http://www.yogaforums.com/forums/f18/pain-in-knees-recent-3937.html


But you really need to try this out. HS

Order some guided audio instruction. Try it out. then report back here with an experience or question ( it'd be good to have someone to bounce off with on this one).It's worth the time it takes to learn.Though i definitely welcome questions even if you have'nt tried this out.Any thoughts on it i find interesting.



Okay....
you in the back row- only kidding.

It's a bit like asana, once you are familar with the movement, you can then do without the guide/book/audio instruction but first have to do it a few times until you get a handle on the moevement, or asana beofre you push the crutches away completely. Actually i found somatic excercises alot harder to do or learn than asanas, in terms of concentration, at first. Some of the positions can feel abit wierd and do require you to rtreally concentrate on what you are doing.That may well be because the movements are foreign ( and i've come from doing yaga asana practice though i've heard others express likewise) It's not like gym traininig ,where you just go through the motions- you dohave to concentrate and still the brain- i think an alpha state may well be connducive.

Hope this helps .
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:33 PM   #14
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Sorry. You're right the back row makes it hard to see and hear. Though I did try to sift through the posts you shared. Must be a language barrier - LOL
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #15
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Naaah.....you're in the front row!

I'm currently just taking questions from the back right now, thanks



Of course....i'm joking.

Last edited by core789; 02-23-2009 at 09:59 AM. Reason: my smillies dissapeared
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:57 PM   #16
ridbugs
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Torn Meniscus

Sorry to hear about your tear, awful. I've been struggling with the same thing. I do careless things too. I did not have the surgery. In December I went to an accupuncturist after physical therapy. I'd been attending one class per week and a bit of some modern dance class. I thought this was resting. The accupuncture guy said rest 4 months. I'd always been very active. I could hardly walk, really. I'd torn menisci before, just never this bad. Unfortunately you should rest or it will just get worse. If it's not a very severe meniscal tear you may be able to do things on it but your's sounds bad. If it's not too bad you can expect full range of motion in a year. Me, if I'm lucky, a year from now, perhaps 2 before I can do pigeon again. I still can't go very fast. I do Anusara and one of my teachers has been doing some vinyasa stuff with us and my knee doesn't like it at all. If you don't want to be in a walker you should rest. I know I'll never be the same but you are young so don't drive yourself into the ground just yet.
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